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Flying Insect with a Parasitic Fungus (in Dominican Amber)?


GeschWhat

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Hi all,

 

I picked up this piece of amber because of the interesting coprolite (caterpillar, I think). Anyway, it also has an interesting flying insect with a white substance surrounding it. The wings also look like they have some sort of protrusions along the edges as well. At first I thought it was some sort of spider silk, but I can't see any fibers. The only other thing I could think of was some sort of parasitic fungus. It was really hard to get a good photo of it.  Are there any amber experts out there that have come across something like this? 

Coprolite-Caterpillar-Dominican-Amber-1.jpg

Coprolite-Caterpillar-Flying-Insect-Fungus-Dominican-Amber-2.jpg

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Hm.Fungi/Lichen preservation in amber does happen:e.g.Casparyotorula,Chaenthecopsis

You don't happen to know where this piece comes from(provenence,provenance:P)?

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10 hours ago, doushantuo said:

Hm.Fungi/Lichen preservation in amber does happen:e.g.Casparyotorula,Chaenthecopsis

You don't happen to know where this piece comes from(provenence,provenance:P)?

I don't have any provenance, but am currently trying to track down additional information. 

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Sorry, I do not have time to search now, but I remember reading / seeing that this white formation around insects in amber came from the water lost by the insect during the fossilization In resin, and that this is a sign of authenticity for fossil and amber.

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With regard to Baltic amber... "the insect inclusions are often preserved with a white coating, which is formed from liquids that have escaped from the decaying insect's body and then entered the surrounding amber, turning it cloudy" - Source: Amber, by Andrew Ross.

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I really do think this is some sort of entomopathogenic fungus and not clouding. It was really hard to get a good photo of the substance. Once I found the correct terminology I was able to find papers on the subject. I haven't had a chance to read this yet, but Figure 54 in this paper looks very similar to what I'm seeing in my specimen. Here is another. I will have to break out my digital microscope. It has higher magnification, but is a lot harder to focus. Perhaps I will be able to see conidiophores in order to confirm this.

 

EDIT: Photos that I've been able to find of the white coating on Baltic amber looks different from what I'm seeing (a little more uniform?)

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@doushantuo I heard back from the guy I bought this from. He said it came with a group pieces purchased a number of years ago, most of which were from La Bucara. However, he couldn't be certain that this is where it originated. I still haven't had a chance to put this under higher magnification to see if there are visible conidiophores. 

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